Raphael Apostle drawing breaks record by 1.7% at Sotheby's



2015-06-26 13:04:58

Raphael Apostle drawing breaks record by 1.7% at Sotheby's

Raphael's Head of an Apostle is now the most valuable old master drawing ever sold at auction

Raphael's extraordinary study, Head of an Apostle, has set a new auction record after selling with outstanding results as part of Sotheby's Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale, which was held yesterday (December 5) in London.

Raphael Head of an Apostle Raphael produced 17 preparatory drawings for the Transfiguration

The piece, which was one of three renaissance masterworks consigned from the private collection at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, sold for an impressive 29.7m ($47.8m), achieving an 84.8% increase on its $15m valuation.

It is now the most valuable old master drawing ever sold at auction and also the most valuable example of Raphael's work.

One of just two important Raphael pieces to have appeared at auction in the last 50 years, the price represents a 1.7% increase on both records, which were set by his 29.2m Head of a Muse atChristie's in 2009.

Created in 1519 using black chalk, Head of an Apostle acted as a studyfor Raphael's last and most accomplished masterpiece, Transfiguration, which is currently housed at the Vatican Museum. The epic work was left unfinished when he died in 1520, and was hung above his head when his body was laid out in his studio.

Sotheby's Gregory Rubinstein commented prior to the sale: "It is one of the greatest privileges of my career to be handling the sale of a drawing of such extraordinary importance - and of such incredible power and beauty too.

"These rare moments, over the centuries, define the history of the drawings market."

The current world record for any old master work at auction is held by Sir Peter Paul Rubens' The Massacre of the Innocents, which sold for 49.5m ($77.2m) at Sotheby's in 2002. The sector has seen fantastic results in 2012, with the Mei Moses Fine Art Index reporting a 5.4% increase in value for the first half of the year.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is offering a perfect opportunity to join the fine art market with a superb signed Salvador Dali drawing, whichdepicts his wife and muse, Gala. See more of our art collectibles for sale.

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